For at least 25 years the celebration with good food and good cheer of Tupper Lake's annual Thanksgiving observance has been brightened by the selfless volunteers at the local Knights of Columbus and several groups like the Kiwanis Club which assist the fraternal organization each year.
Over 600 Thanksgiving meals were provided local residents, 500 of which were delivered to their homes.
Three of the youngest volunteers Thursday morning were Luka Dukett (second from left), Jenna Carmichael and Lexy Sabin. Assisting them with the packing of take-out meals were Joanne Bickford (left) and Ann Maltais (right). Below them was pie-cutter Carol Peets. Diane LeBlanc (not shown) was busy over in the corner of the K.of C. bar area, lining up all the containers for filling (at right).
Dave and Diane LeBlanc have been working to help the K.of C. members with their various projects since 1974. For years they worked alongside manager Dick Moeller, who is believed to have started the dinner.
Out in the kitchen Thursday morning were Yvon Fortier, Mike Russell, Jim Pryor, Joe Kimpflen and Tom Walsh. Hiding from the press this year was Dave LeBlanc.
Asked how long they have each volunteered in preparation of the festive meal, most didn't know. Yvon's been helping for ten years and Dave and Tom figured they've been involved from that start. Jimmy said he's been helping for at least several years. Joe figured two. Our well known Santa couldn't remember how many years he's been helping. For years, however, he and his brother Ralph were mainstays in the kitchen each Thanksgiving. Great job, all volunteers.